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Police hunt 'high-class' shopper suspected of €416k frauds in just four days


CCTV footage of the woman they police want to question

CCTV footage of the woman they police want to question

CCTV footage of the woman they police want to question

As shopping sprees go, it was something of a blow-out.

This immaculately turned-out shopper used a debit card to purchase a host of luxury items over a four-day retail binge in some of Manchester's most expensive shops.

The total bill ran to nearly £300,000 (€415,700) and purchases included ten 100g gold bars worth £26,000, two Rolex watches priced at £18,000 and £8,000, designer clothing, handbags, make-up and other expensive jewellery.

The not-insignificant problem, however, is that police believe the card used in all the transactions was obtained fraudulently.

Detectives issued a photograph from CCTV camera - positioned in the luxury handbag section of a department store - of the woman they are seeking to trace, who had a particular penchant for Gucci products.

The City of London Police - which has national responsibility for fraud investigations - said it had made "a number of unsuccessful attempts to identify" the woman, who is thought to be in her mid-20s.

The force's Dedicated Card and Payment Crime Unit launched its investigation after a bank account was compromised in July 2014 and a debit card linked with the account was misused a month later.

Stores targeted included Selfridges, a number of small jewellery stores, bookmakers and bureaux de change.

Items purchased also included high-value plumbing equipment, such as boilers and bathroom suites, and a large quantity of car tyres and alloy wheels.